Wednesday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

The Creed of Chalcedon

We Are Not Alone

We then following the holy fathers, all with one consent…

As I have reached the end of the New Testament and forbear to begin the Old with just a few weeks remaining of the liturgical year, which outcome happened to me last year when I had too few days to begin another book of holy Scripture, I shall fill these last few weeks as I did before.  Last year I took up the Nicene Creed.  This year I shall take up the Creed of Chalcedon.

Whereas the Creed of Nicaea (325) attempted to clarify matters concerning our Lord’s relationship to the Father, that of Chalcedon (451) attempted to do the same concerning the relationship between our Lord’s person and his divine and human natures.  Whereas Arianism was the heresy at Nicaea which the bishops there condemned (which heresy taught that Christ was less than the Father), the bishops at Chalcedon had to battle with Monophysites, who so completely absorbed Christ’s human nature into his divine as to leave nothing human remaining in him, while at the same time not falling into the opposite error of Nestorianism condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431, which heresy so separated our Lord’s human and divine natures so as to leave him a mere holy man or even schizophrenic.  The fathers at Chalcedon laid down the formula we now call the Creed of Chalcedon in which they concluded that Christ was one person with both human and divine natures.  These foundational and nonnegotiable doctrines of the faith we take for granted thinking we came to them ourselves reading our Bibles at the kitchen table.  No so.  These doctrines were hard-won by reference to what orthodox churches had always taught everywhere through meditation and study on the apostolic doctrine in the word of God.

I have room left just to take the first few words: “We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent….”  Though we should read our Bibles everyday that we may grow in grace, perhaps the greatest fault of evangelicalism is its exaltation of individualism over tradition—whereby I mean the “Great Tradition” of the teachers of the Church.  What has been taught always, everywhere, and in all places has long been the touchstone of orthodoxy.  We owe to previous generations the faith they have handed-down to us—from our grandparents back to the believers at Pentecost and Antioch.  We ignore these early creeds at the peril of slipping again into the heresies they condemned.  We stand on the shoulders of others, and it is only arrogance which keeps us from listening to them.  We need the creeds.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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